I grew up in filth talk and a filthy environment on the farm.
My Questioning nature was always: May I, Can I, please?
No No No was the answer No
So I grew up saying YES when I left home. I became a Yes girl.
Why and how did this happening?
My story was as unique and hard as all adults who eventually start waking up from breaking down, breaking up & breaking thru to how they got to be who & why they are.
I began the arduous task of tracing my steps backwards to the Yes Yes Yes voice that was my programmed condition confused little paradox person sashaying mechanically like a sheet of choral church music being played with a puppeteer baton waving wickedly. My whole early years rang a discordant and thorough No. Mychildhood suppressed, augmented as the pendulum swung side to side erratically, but never calmly in the steadying hand of a gentle parent .
The frustration of not being allowed to learn piano, go on the French exchange, go to school discos (bar one when I was 15) and get to have the basic building blocks that are considered normal. My bedroom was frozen, no heat, no hot water bottle due to the expense of electricity being used to boil the kettle. Somehow my father chose a keeper to keep him, not us. She, Aunty Binks had her own two children, who she naturally devoted her time. With us, we were an add on and not to be cherished, held, nurtured or loved. Aunty Binks swooped in to our nest just as would a clever spring cuckoo. She chose to do the least work possible in regards to us. We were fed well enough, I as a very needy little girl, would peel the potatoes, wash lettuce, chop onions, I assisted everywhere I could get a kindly word. Her house work was atrocious, and she made sure that she was way too good to change our bedding, wash our clothes and be a warm motherly beacon to go to when childhood was just a difficult place to be in. Our own mother had gone, and was openly chatisted as the evil/sinner character. However Jaqueline neePaget, had kept the hearth clean, and liked her children to sleep in clean sheets, pants, socks, basic needs met that gave one a natural orderly sense of care, structure, a parental feeling of love, that all disapated quickly once Aunty Binks became the matriarch in the role she played. By the age of 8/9 I had learnt how to use a washing machine. I cooked poach eggs and scrub floors, Hoover, chop fire wood and light fires. I became increasingly a fixer of all the things I thought how a good mother would be. This would become my markmamship in all the years to follow. It meant I didn’t get to become an actor, musician, politician or even farmers wife. I simply was left up to my own devices and no one asked me how did it feel to be me. Even getting thank You’s was rare. I was so desperate for feedback – I was a good little helper girl. Instead NO was a constant tool for any thing I asked. Rarely yes was an answer. My father reinforced the No’s by running away onto the farm, on his horse, in the land rover to escape his questioning children. He simply was not up to the task of standing up for his own flesh and blood, his was weak.
He simply was in denial and if confronted by any of his children, he would throw a tantrum or run away. In His own childhood; his mother, my grandmother worshipped him. Spoilt him. Indulged him. He went to Dauntsey public school in 1934, aged 8. His head was ducked down a toilet whilst his genitalia were fiddled with – all as a natural traditional standing with the upper classes. He hated it. Boarding school back in those days was cruel and very tough. It however meant his own parenting was somewhat fractured. He always said if the pill had been around a year earlier I wouldn’t be here…
It was a negligent and very difficult time that traumatically filled up my every symptomatic particle physically , emotionally, mentally and spiritually into a very tender discourse that crippled all of us, as we had to navigate upon a myriad of uncertainty and when a nice word was spoken, it meant the world and I began to become addicted to love & kindness.
Other wise, I was frozen out into a cold hearted environment. Everything was less than. All my basic needs were met with a very peculiar Mindset bordering on cruelty and exclusion. To feel every question asked was to be met with a big fat NO, don’t be ridiculous, money doesn’t grow on trees, was how Aunty Binks spoke and she never faulted with her consistent trajectory of minimal cold sentences. Tight, thin lipped, hard slitty eyes, she was an archetypal step mother to be and yet to see her with her own daughter who marched around in clean socks, jodhpurs, who had all the kit &caboodle paraphernalia really ought to have crushed any decency in my little self. I just couldn’t understand the unfairness of all this. How come we, the children of the charismatic trainer, breeder, owner farmer HJ. Manners esquire, be treated like second hand parts from a bad bit play?
Out clothes were hand me downs, our birthdays a joke, in fact apart from a very sadistic dentistry time of Aunty Binks insisting I had many of my teeth pulled which changed my lovely upper Dracula teeth which gave me a Aunty Josie smile. No monies, time, special treats were given to us. I grew up intensely wishing for something outside of myself to take the severe & acute depths of despair away somewhere like a Disney film. I was a modern day Cinderella, filled with wishful fantasies, feelings and thinking that would lead me to a thrashing obscurity of sexual playfulness, attention seeking and unhealthy fantasies.
My own act of survival to feel that contact touch and feedback looping was essential to my inner heart to connect, feel more than, loved, orgasmic. We were rampant back massagers – that being my brothers , dad & sister – again depending who was around. It was our way of feeling connected to each other. We would time each other on the video. I became an expert hair comber scratching up dads dandruff in order to be close to him. He had a lot to scratch as he didn’t wash his hair in 50 years, afraid of water. He would snooze off and agree to much, only for his yes’ s to turn to whimpering No’s later on.
I would seek out human kindness from everyone & everything to know what normal was. My father made mistakes. He hid behind his guilt & shame with his lover, Audrey and he did it throughout his life repeatedly saying the same insane thing. He worshipped her like a saint, yet it was programming that went around in a cyclical loop and somehow his words if he said it enough, would then be truth, absolute truth, no matter what. He would lose his temper very easily like a child caught in the headlights, as he crashed wailing behind his beloved Audrey. He after all, had the upper hand. He was the boss. He owned the land, the farm. It meant he had value and we were too high a cost.
I was always reminded of that and his other accusations: You nearly lost me the farm. I felt unsafe, out of balance, bottom of the heap, I wasn’t being groomed as a first born daughter looking forward to a grand and pleasant life, but thrown to the wolves, out out out.
I struggled already at school with bullies and teachers not really knowing where to place me. I always tried to be the best at everything, shine and for someone to notice. However because of my lowly status in terms of look and style, I was an unkempt, scruffy, an outsider from the outset and all I knew being on the farm was that I cleaned, scrubbed, dusted, washed, swept, tidied up obsessively trying to sweep away the dirty, hidden back stories, filed away by social services, courts, Dr. Garside who had me checked out at just over 2&a half. The disorderly framework that supplanted my inside was hush hushed other than the occasional expunged narrative that my father would try to make sense head over heel of his predatory and rash apologies seeking his own daughters forgiveness in times of lucidity. However he kept closing down his part he played in denying his fingers only went in me to ‘calm me down from crying for my mothers breast’ In a nut my father made up a story, then got caught, then felt awful, uncomfortable & rather he explain the sordidness and for that matter, the injustice he transferred for the rest of my life, as he hid behind his game of hide & seek, shame & guilt, and gave all it up to his wife to be. I then became the symbol of forever being nothing more than a second rate bit part actress in a very second rate soap. It was no surprise I was desperate for clean, orderly, kind, open minded and sincere work – home and away – but myself and siblings were distinctly marked out for Aunty Binks scorn and no’s. She had been given the keys to my fathers kingdom of dark secrets and she therefore held the power. Her own flesh and blood became us.
I wasn’t allowed any reprise or a daughters protection- after all – I had become the reason for all my fathers troubles.My childhood was a tick tick of repetition as dad, John Manners, would hide when I went to look for him as another attack from Aunty Binks as she would put me down again and again, not caring whatsoever. He knew how to avoid the fallout, the begging plea as I would try all my wilfulness to ask for basic things. As the drums banged no no no, smoke rings of tears filled up my eyes with shoots ups and children fleeing from their tepees on black n whites screens marginalised by bullies, cowboys, soldiers and the red indians dying determined to keep their lands. An ongoingness always leaving me exposed, vulnerable and distraught. I was thrown off the horse, contorted between flight, fight and freeze. My poor adrenals were saturated and exhausted plainly wishing for decency, human kindness and to stop the permanent voice of NO.
I was split into. Becoming lost and inside my own world. Two things helped. My love of music and my love of nature. As I spent every evening washing up, drying, wiping down, sweeping and washing the kitchen floor; I listened to Radio Luxembourg. Of course we all watched Top of the Pops. I fell in love with two tone, New Romantics, new Wave, Beatles, Radio one and soaked up records, sounds, tunes from everywhere, anyone I could get my hands on. I sang, dreamt, daydreamed of musicians, artists, as potent armours. I loved All things that hummed melodies, allowed my heart to sing and the combo of the natural kingdoms that came with growing up on a farm.
These two worldly omnipresents would keep me sane with industrious hard work cleaning in that 17th c Cotswold stone farm house.
Then there was the other thing, that was different in calibre, dimensionally that beamed up like a shard crystalline power beam uprooting and installing sensuality, and other worldly-ness in my little body of 8. I was in the playground at Southfields Primary climbing a pole, when something happened. I imploded. I felt an upwelling energetically deeply forbidden and promiscuous in the form of somewhere, somehow an unknown entity yet I knew this feeling from before. How did I know? I self realised that my physical requirements in the climbing up of that pole would repeat the very same vibration of telling no one, never. This was not a parlour speakeasy chit chat . No not at all. This was way out, over the top, under the wire and held very damaging undertone with where did that come from? My very private, primordial unspoken bodily crumblings, became hooked on those pulsating magnetic electrolytes that warmed up my cocklehearts & insides deep in the bellows of beautifying, breaking down innate boundaries and breaking free from tyranny in the common farm house moulded in discombobulating mayhem from being disenfranchised from my mother & father. I knew I liked what happened, so much so, I found my own spots on the farm buildings, in the old stables, pig sty. Anywhere where I could get a grip to lift up and release all that unspent misused grotesque hurtful tension. I spent increasingly more amounts of my time, climbing poles to stimulate surprisingly estactic chi rushes riding soulfully and gliding for wardship to my end gain that allowed my mind to spit, throw, cry out those unspoken words, the answer backs, triggers and traumas held every time I was derided, cut, maimed and wounded as a little girl by the adulteress do gooders whose affair would put me into a permanent recovery for the rest of my life from aggressive & mean put upons and all the felt afraidness to say stop! These orgasms became a multidimensional tonic to exorcising Aunty Binks, dad, mum, authoritity figures, grown ups & all the boys at school I fancied, all the horrid hurtful things that was dumped on me, as well as an antidote of dreams, desires, fantasy, imaginary homes I lived in, for all my goals and grimaces, for all the under dogs, no bodies, poor and rich urchins alike, I would gyrate, ingest, drink in the uprising natural esoteric dance of the good, the bad and the ugly in order to feel a semblance of importance and inclusivity that shuddered and pushed fourth my expanded sails on a choppy unchartered territory . I used this compass to distill and tenderise my very dark, deep and unvoiced principles to shape ring and unfurl a deep connection of higher power ordering that just by that act, wholly or demigod godliness that imbued a meaning albeit for only transient moments. It was my saviour and my curse as it became cursory in my early years as I flowered up resonating like a blooded homeopathic template to return rich red rooted in proteins, plasma, bone, ligaments, organs, cells, and innocence from all the universal Languages that spur on the human race through heaving, hormonal growth secretions and feelings & desires that blew open official secrets to growing up. It meant I held on to some quite particular self expression that powered up my pushed down voice. It made sense because of the complexity and abnormal terrain and tyranny that was my daily bread. I was living in a tarantula nest, and as I was an antagonist to the cosying up of a played out drama that was fuelled by my father handing over his power to Aunty Binks, in order for both of them to get what they wanted – Dad -needed someone to collude and assuage his dirty and dark tales whilst he had someone to bring his porridge daily, share his passions for the race horses, and she too would eventually get the prize – the sale of the farm from dads death and live out/off it with her brood ensconced in their quidpro terms and conditions .
It sounds like I am jealous, still carrying bitterness, to a degree I am, however I was a loving child, I am a seeker of the truth and of a simple innate fair social justice and environmental system that has grown up in me, spawned from swimming against the tidal waves pushed back with damns and dykes to somehow make do out of the immense struggles to remain in harmony and in tune with the deep radar guiding me upwards to a potentially extraordinary life trajectory that now more than ever needs to come out like a purgatory to be cleaned fit for purpose as so to fit into the world. My biggest worry was I felt unable to know where to stand still and strong without falling apart especially because I needed so much validation.
I didn’t know how to inwardly love, honour and work diligently towards self study and bettering myself with caring peers to ask how to do this or that, go to college, university, work. It simply wasn’t an option for me and so I led my life from hit & misses and that I was easily led by others suggesting this and that. It wasn’t always so bad, I realised later on that my guides and gods were really rooting for me. I quite simply was pushed out at 16. And that was that and from there got to find out, figure and unravel my identity in fits and staves.
As I was rejected at a young age and abandoned by the family that would leave me exposed to becoming a victim of self loathing, poor me, self flagelating and critiquing. My interdependent language was full mooned and sun flared with a genuine willingness mixed with low line fearfulness and because of all those spiteful no’s, I lacked a deep connection of entrusting who was I. I did however love being the centre of attention and I knew that some boys and girls got off on me. It gave me a purpose. Not wholly wholesome but a sort of trancelike zeal that came with a few glasses of alcohol and later weed & nicotine that became my drug of choice. I began a thirty year story that was enhanced by not sitting still enough with who am I?
I lived intuitively always recognising when the drugs became too downy I would stop and break into mindfulness, learning, letting go leaps and faith with my inward tracking safeward bound light house. I had developed a strategy to help keep out severe impending danger.I also could sense who was horrible and who was not. But still I went into a codependent yes yes yes. That meant I was a high res people pleaser and seeker of approval. I could never say no to requests, to can I , do you mind, stay, sleep, have, share, with all my people, places and things. I was boundaryless. It meant I had to watch, feel and see my girl friends lining up to catch my packed in lovers and bf’s breaking the unsaid customs and codes of conduct – highly important and practiced amongst true friends. However my girlfriends & boy friends alike were not always to be trusted; we were all a pretty insecure lot in our twenties and all experimenting. I was not quite assured enough to identify those really authentic honest types who really dug me, to others who quite happily sucked on my easygoing nature because I wore and still do, my heart on my sleeve. I was completely handicapped in defining whose who in a perpetually balancing act of recognising healthy relationships. I simply realised that the more I said yes, the more people liked me, which perpetuated years of quickening to keeping up with the yes charade. My whole identity was thoroughly outwardly promiscuous and terribly confusing as I would cover up my shadowy insides by drowning in empty drinking binges, dressing up, partying hard, having a large excitable personality that kept growing. I enjoyed attention seeking but disturbingly I found those persons with odd enclosed natures equally marked for my self serving seeking approvaling defined as twisted and undeniably odd in searching for Aunty Binks in all types for self acceptance. I was in a nut, blocked traumatically frozen cold and crying in a dark place with a very uncared for wounded little girl Mia. I repeatedly went for similar familiar archetypes. I had to really hit some biggies to uncover the hypnotic speak & spell I was under before I could flush out these demonic, ghoulish entity creatures that depended on my dysfunctional, disoriented, denial patterns. I had to keep falling down triggering my repetitive behavioural traits that allowed a long list of perverts, bounders, scoundrels and weirdos that all got to come along some invited, some not, to my all free wild-wheeling world view parties, quirk & sense of adventure playing out with no real voice to say really understand that word: NO.
I wrote this poem on Sunday, from the freezing cold Sundaymarket with resentment as my breakfast. I stand stronger today, older, wiser, a bit, and ready to keep pressing into the unknown aware it’s a continual process that keeps me in a very transitional place. It’s a work in progress. My gift is awakening and returning to my little girl to reparent and grow us up healthy.
I like saying No, as much as I like Yes. It’s scares me too as I am doing my best best best for myself so I can teach me how not too react and give my power away through carelessness
I’ve grown up in spite and of much dirty innuendo’s soaking ingraining inside my growing heart
I was conscious that smutty smuttiness was my daily bread
I don’t just want to survive
I want to thrive standing in my field of awareness and wonder
I’m changing and it’s tough recognising that my close friends and family still rather like me to bow down to their methods tricks plays , drama
In a dirty lower density field
I’m trying hard to raise my game
Speak plain Jane
Not feel afraid
When I say no I mean no
Not feel less than
Worried what the outcome
Boundaries with BNB yes done blocked out Monday Tuesday Weds
Boundaries with guests coming to stay two days at the most
Boundaries with me me me
Boundaries with family
Recognising my self harm dialogue whilst marching regardless
Mirroring vibrations matching their frequencies
Knowing when I’m tired fed up
When I intuitively feel my reaction in body is worried
To just align with my truth
Accept I feel aloof
And say no to yes
Shout it out to the top of the stairs to the bottom of where’s where
I simply no longer care
As I dwell happily inside my cave ”
This is the new yin year : Fire Rooster
I am my journey that is not governed by commercial interests, and making the world ecologically unsafe. We are living in an age where we have forgotten to cherish what is important. I am concerned that my daughter will grow up in a world without basic needs because of the continuous trajectory of the Global markets and the defunct economic system which does not take responsibility for the environment other than to keep slashing and burning and bombing and drilling, mining,etc which intern dehumanises us all.
I am currently reading a book called If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie, it is compelling and is giving me such a lot of thought as to how to channel the issues I face inside of myself against a backdrop of facing down the existence I currently live within. As I live in the city, my access to nature is heath, canal walks, and then out into the countryside. However inside, of my cells, I am trying to find a way to bridging the external to come and walk gently in barefeet and touch the land and be apart of nature.
I see so much dis-ease and dis comfort from those around me and I wish to offer help knowing that my own journey is about self love.
I can feel movement though dimmed by city particles blocked by the trajectory of buildings, pollution, people in their head, going about their business, working for the machine.
I can only keep grounded and seek my connection through bare feet and breathing down into my body.
Dancing, breathing consciousnessly, allowing myself to get out of my head and into my body and create events bringing people together through films, art, music, action.
As soon as I have an venue I will let you know x
I wrote this in France last summer…waving with happy heart, clear, strong, passionate….I asked a dear friend what he thought and he replied:
“yay, fucking ace, awesome tunes, so many things going on , sampling field recordings, tripy vibes, strong humaness, humour, chaos, bit of politics! great.
so glad you discovered or discovering your creative music side, fucking ace making music isn’t it?
I love how you can lay something down , listen to it back and then have a conversation with yourself, indirectly with a slightly older different different version of yourself, spiral of life..improving it and therefore changing yourself in the endless process, its fucking addictive and you can lose yourself in it as much as you want…time permitting [thats the hardest bit]
looking forward to hearing more :)))” Richard D. James
I am proud and pleased and ok to just get things out into the open whether they be understood or not..I have the capacity to broaden my own self learning after years of flagellating and causing a lot of self harm.
I can now fully understand that life is an unfolding process that comes to points in times of growth, and self realigning. This takes courage and interest in an authentic bridging of ones own imagination.
In the past two years I have learnt a little thing called Logic and am in a big part of my life upon learning to play piano, learning to trust that I am good enough now and that all that I have is all that I need.
In self developing, and allowing myself to publish things on my own site is a dream, though much still needs to be carefully administered and that hurts, cos a lot of the stuff behind wordpress drives me mad…grr…none the less…publishing allows the artist to feel how they wish to bring out stuff that bubbles up under the radar, surface, body, soul, spirit and as it rises, I have now a go to.
In the world of fairies, I have a very big alliance and affiliation with them.
Growing up in my childhood, meant my guides were strong in essence and they bridged strongly in my consciousness particularly in times of total rejection and pure terror as my keepers were often very tough on my little shoulders and to never know about simple wholesome values that meant I was loved, and supported, I would fall naturally in to the natural kingdoms and into my imagination dreaming of other places to live, with clean sheets, and nice bedding, pairs of matched socks and clean underwear, all these things were missing out of my childhood.
My mother was no longer around to keep me safe, and yes I know innately I chose to come back and live here with these handicaps, to grow from the constant NO, No, No.
After all, I had a lot to be grateful for, and my father always made sure I remembered my place growing up on a farm with animals and so many places to roam freely, explore and create something else, was so wonderful. His catchwords to me were: “You nearly lost me the farm”, and “If it wasn’t for Aunty Binks/Audrey, this would all be gone” as he swept his hands across the land. She, Aunty Binks, came to pass her name when we all stood in front of her on the middle sitting room with the red carpet then laid, as we were introduced from her own mouth, as she said: “You are to call me Aunty Binks”. My older 6 year old brother, Jonathan, said in a knowing voice “But you aren’t our Aunty, you are the housekeeper”, she looked at him and said: “If you don’t call me Aunty Binks, I wont answer you”. I was barely 5, Lester was 4. We didn’t understand. WE were just told by our mother, that she was the housekeeper.
Yet, in doors, a crushed aloofness was the daily grinding vibe and Aunty Binks was not kind to me, or my brothers and sister. She had no real compassion for us. It is hard to describe that sort of existence at such a close hand, and growing up in a sort of spell, a covering of shadows everywhere, and unwritten pay off was taking place that in the years to follow, it became clear, that this person who was sleeping with my father, still married at that early years to her husband, Uncle Binks, who lived in the house too, and who was carrying on with a woman named Margot, it was quite confusing, adults behaving in undercurrents of self seeking, driven by their own wants, needs, desires and outcomes. And then of course, as I was my fathers first born, I had such a connection to him, and yet, in the events that unfolded through out those years, those very short years, as it now came to pass, I shudder and I also have some compulsive love, unconditioned of course to the farm, the house, the inside, the memories of which I know will be furrowed in a set of patterns that my child like mind brings up wards.
It meant I had to do a lot of work in the years I left home. I was intense, fiery, incredibly kind and willing, I never wanted to take be a NO Man, so I became a Yes girl, which of course meant I had no boundaries and I was easily led. I would always put others in front of me. I always helped others first, thinking and feeling that I would never be like Aunty Binks.
Little Clusters of emotional bombs
taking up time, feeding a fractionated mind
madness in clinging to the old parts of people pleasing
Remembering that little girl who piped up words to the adults, please take notice
creating an intense separation inside
crushing the ability to suffering shadows
dressing inner purity hiding down in an attic somewhere
with coping behaviours taking a distinct turn
wishing to be ever so good, pretty, held
only it is on pause
A magpie takes little things from there and here,
being held in a sort of social engineering
seaward bound into an esoteric ocean
which becomes real meaning
Once the voice to wish our selves well,
breaks through the deep old well
as the death of a child becomes a fantasy teenager
rhythmically life takes over
Legs opened, heart warm plenty for all, just so long as that smile keeps glowing
carrying on in a same sort of breath
Later, in the muddling years, does the movement rudder break forcing
the clattering wooden vessel to repair
her sails come down to be repaired and cleaned
the work can truly begin
Even from that acting up one bows down to growing up,
ready to let go seeds a scattering
wide nets full of hope,
wishing mantras everywhere,
blown with the wind in her neatly mended souls
o everything, anyone who will listen
feel their natural part in this correlation
Should see upon their shore, a little girl crying to herself,
Hold out your hand, reach deep into your heart
united by our duty to hold each other;
Be warned to listen inwardly to a voice that is
takes up hold of the small thing,
a child is left no longer wondering alone, broken hearted
all can reach out holding her hand
as she walks feeling familiar ground
noticing a crowd
of elders, willing her to come
She will sleep well tonight
All will be done
Mia Manners Feb 2017
The Beautiful People!!
To experience life in London at a certain age, in a certain time, with a certain open-
mindedness, this is a truly wonderful way to start the day!
And to be asked to be Door greeter was probably one of the loveliest jobs I could have been asked to do……Thank you dear Jo…And thank you sober, clean sparkly ravers who dress up, get with the programme with a pure heart mind connection.
I first began coming to this particular part of town two years ago and fell in love with the essence of bouncing around the warehouse, in east london with a lot of joyousness, ecstatic laughter, massage – of which I always have with really good high vibe organic raw bar, juice bar, good Fair-trade coffees and tea’s, and a great big dollop of lovely old skool music to keep us on our toes.
This Morning I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel Pinchbeck who I read one of his books last year called: Breaking Open The Head, 2002, which took Daniel onto a journey of self discovery as he opened himself up to native, cultural natural plantcology and did they rewire his brain, body, spirit and soul…I was fascinated by his chosen topics in that book and so was delighted to meet him personally, pose for pictures and have him sign his new book called How Soon Is Now – From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation that proposes from reading the back, a manifesto to raising consciousness to support Mother Nature and Humanity. It looks good.
However whilst I am on Books to read, I am absolutely loving Sharon Blackie’s If Women Rose Rooted – The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging that takes you on a journey to remembering the roles of Celtic story telling, mythology, traditions and cultural unification that has been lost by the current religions and system that has polarised the beautiful guardianship that we all come from, namely Mother Earth and Father Sky. A real honour to read this one….However I am sure Pinchbeck’s will be good too.
This is something that moves me every single time I feel disconnected with Mother Earth and that old familiar feeling creeps in to the wasteland of my whole identity & fires up into a helpless …
Source: Who Am I..
I’ve just stepped out into Kilburn in the jubilee line to notice the lovely broad old grand mansion streets up Exeter road as I went to look at a Yamaha piano…today’s weather whipped up a sense of old fashion cold and I spoke to the vendor whose emigrating to Canada like a right old Londoner ! I felt exhilarated and nostalgia swept me up remembering all the places I’ve lived in and how!
I started life in London in 1984. A mere Mia 17 year old who flew on the back of a suggestion from my best friends sister, Jackie: ‘Why don’t we go to London for the summer?’ Yes. I said but how would we do it. She drove us into Swindon and WHSmith straight to buy The Lady and slapped it on my very youthful enthusiastic seeking approval persona and off I went phoning up mothers help jobs. I got an interview two days later and boarded the then national railway train to Paddington. I got that job and moved to London on March 31st. It took all of 5/6 days from suggestion to destination – Holland Park, W11. I had no clue where, what, how London would define me and to that W11 was posh, with its white stucco big grand houses, gardens and on top I came alone. I couldn’t really say that my first position in London was special, if not cliche with my employer trying it on with me one lunchtime. He was old. I was practically still a virgin but not quite. I pushed him off, headed to the One O Clock club in Holland Park to tell my one nanny friend, Leslie from Australia about me going back to the countryside. She told me of another family desperate for a nanny as they were travelling to Le Lavendou in the South of France. I was thrilled, got their number and went round after. I moved in and upgraded to my own little contained flat on Landsdowne Avenue. I travelled with them for three weeks with their sons, Jack & Henry 2 & 4 and experienced my first real taste of France, a country I had always fantasised about. Growing up on a farm in the 70’s/early 80’s, BBC2 did a whole season in the summer of ’79,’80 on French films. I would sneak off from the hay making feigning tiredness to watch these world films. https://www.timeout.com/paris/en/film/les-demoiselles-de-rochefort-1967.
I became fascinated by the sospistication of French culture, sexual education and romantic allure…this French trip had some ooh la la for me on the beach with a character as I practiced my school education.
This became my story. Whilst with this family I met another nanny, Scarlett Van Legge Bourke, aka Susan Tonkin, – this time live-out who took me to Portobello Market & Camden Town. I became initiated and enthralled by the immense organic secondhand/vintage plucks of golden eras materialised in chinon, linen, silk, organza, velvet, polyester, that became my dressing up box. We had fashion at our feet and so cheaply too. I gorged on styling my hearts desire to create a new Mia. And the road to unfolding the unchartered road to the beginnings of Who Am I began to take form in this very exciting medium. I was just 18, and London held me in a trance dance of unimaginable tricks and treasures that unfolded in its own unique path. Scarlett Van Legge Bourke was very louche, full of bravado and dazzled me with her sense of style, she dressed between Siouxsie, and a baroque baroness. She was immaculate and set the bar for my London. I began a life long binge on all things that punctuated the youth of that day. My own swing time was filled with a sense of counter culture spilling our injustices of the day with social class wars, marches, our acute generation turned up to demonstrations as we began to recognise that the Britain we were living in was categorised by wealth, class, circumstance and whom was affiliated with. Tory Britain and its charismatic leader, Thatcher was tearing up the unions, bringing in draconian laws and carving up the housing charters. I quickly began to sense and realise that the path I travelled on was not going to be secure, dusted and put to bed, blanketed in a snuggly wrap – no some innate calling kept me stepping forward into the unknown fearlessly, accepting that my life held some congenial truth dappled by the promise of love, magical leanings, socio-political meaning that identified with the unusual, different and popular underground club/drug culture.
In a nut, the party began in 1984, as a very gullible youth searching for a tribe that offered authentic collaboration brimming with enthusiasm and a courage that may well have been born out that childhood and teenage-ness that was still in me.
I was naive, fairly good looking, and somehow had a very unique love of finding beautiful vintage dresses, ball gowns, lace blouses, crazy Sock Shop stripy socks bought in the tubes station shops. I was a goggle with choice. My senses were alert as Scarlett and I would step out on Saturday to Portobello to eye up the talent and the look. Mesmerised by the definition of what London had to offer, life began to bubble a blazing new trail as we found Kensington Market. Oh my! We had found our club. Filled with little shops, a throwback to life in a different century with a bizarre theme full of goths, punks, trendies, rockabillies, pyschobillies, mods, and people like me! Kensington market was a brimful of eclectic mayhem. There was a hairdresser on the top floor and a basement cafe serving egg rolls for new-be vegetarians and builders tea. My time spent there can still smell the heady fumed passages of joss sticks, jewellery, banter and finding like minded groups. We were all interested in being trend setters who adventured into the flyered club scenes. Here we discovered The Mud Club (https://shapersofthe80s.com/tag/mud-club/) and would head over to Shaftesbury ave to queue in a line of wannabes to be plucked out of obscurity and into the ascension of being spotted by Philip Salon, host avant-guard who dressed up to the nines, in sequins, dimonte and dazzling dare that gave us fledglings clubbers permission to shine, fly and experiment with our own de-rigueur.
Between 1984-1986 I look upon these early years in London as growth and education out of something only potentially expressed on the screens of the 70’s watching Top of the Pops, and not so much The Old Grey Whistle Test. That was more to do with rockers, prog rock more precisely . No TOTP carried New Romantics, New Wave, Punk, Two-Tone, Ska, and a concoction of alternative forums dressed to impress that planted peerage seeds of a promise to practise the cultural Einstein a Go Go landscape whilst growing up on a farm. I was set to frame and be me, no matter how mad, bonkers and crazy that looked.
I figured out in the first two years of life on the boardwalk of this capital city, I lived in Holland Park x 2, Earls Court in a bedsit on Courtfield Gardens, then I began to sweep up in the arms of lovers where they opened doors, and gave me a taste for sweet life that stood me firmly in my essence. My second nannying job, on Landsdowne Avenue, had communal gardens and three beautiful landscape gardeners brothers, Johny, Charlie and Chubb worked in those glorious, private gardens. Charlie took a shine to me and invited me on the back of his British Norton. That bike sped us to a seriously fabulous pub, called The Moscow Arms. This was a premise full of scene makers. A denizen of wild debauchery, very tasty looking people, dressed up in the wild and wonderful abstractions of each others own imagination. I felt like I had arrived in some theatrical setting, and London really began to move and shake. Chubb was well to do and my first kind man that showed me the way. He and his brothers invited Scarlett and I to their sisters big party in Purely, Surrey and asked me not to tell my employees of who they were. My employees were odd anyway, I was their 13th nanny allegedly, and asked me not to talk to the gardeners. It was quite strange when I realised upon arriving at the stately home of the brothers family seat, that they were Lord and Lady Keyes children. I was happy to keep stumm! There we were in our dressed up ball gowns, mine a velvet fitted 1930’s bias cut number. I felt shapely, keen and apart of a special group of uber-echelon crowds. Their sister was the assistant editor of Vogue. It felt like we had arrived!
More to come….
Here is a top line view of how a daughter such as mine, is full of energy, beans, zest, passion and love of all things funny, silly and playful. WE laughed our socks off in the lift that afternoon.
This is a state of being authentic and human that makes this world a wonderful and enjoyable experience especially if you are like me, gets depressed before, after and in the year! I have dips where I am being eaten alive by those hyper dimensional unseens, that I like to call entities. Other societies have in ancient lore, referred to them as demons, ghouls, ghosts that inhabit our etheric, astral, mental and physical domains. We humans are mostly unaware of the feedback loop that comes crushing upon us when we struggle and find it hard to reach out, or look within at our patterns of behaviour that keep us in that loop I mentioned.
I write this because I have been working on myself probably unconsciously all my life, to wake up from some strange long sleep that is imbued with a mixture of dream like qualities that can easily translate to madness, acute depression, fear of this and that, and avoiding the unknown qualities to step into my authentic individual creative self mastery role and become that change I so wish to be. Today I try to work consciously on my spiritual, emotional, physical and mental parts to remain embodied and calm. I am in luck, as I have an Aunty Shelia Continue reading